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A Daily Schedule in Braille
BrailleVisually impaired students may soon benefit from a Braille daily schedule. It was created by the 3D Tech Doves, an all-girls team from Christine Donnell School of the Arts, by using 3D printed plastic letters and number tiles. They call their invention the Teacher Classroom Kit. It’s "usable to visually impaired students so they can be more independent," Amber McVey, the girls mentor said.

"I feel really good, I think we did a really good job and helped a lot of people," Hailey Harwell, member of the 3D Tech Doves said.

SDCB offers many programs that can significantly assist people living with visual impairments. Please contact us to learn more.

“Boise all-girls 3D printing team wins competition for creating a Braille daily schedule”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Field Hockey Player Determined to Play Following Vision Loss
vision lossIn November, a British Olympic field hockey hopeful sustained a significant injury when he was hit in the face by a ball. The damage resulted in vision loss in his left eye. After surgery and seeing eye specialists, Sam Ward is committed to playing for his country in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"Reports that I am retiring are completely not true and never were true," Ward said. "It's rumor mill... I do have some sight loss in my left eye but I still have peripheral vision and a fully functioning right eye."

If you require assistance for vision loss or blindness, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“Olympic hopeful vows to play field hockey again after ball fractures his face, causes vision loss”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Preventing River Blindness
blindnessOnchocerciasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus. It is transmitted through bites by blackflies and it is common in Africa. The worm attacks the eyes and causes visual impairment or blindness. The World Health Organization (WHO) would like to eradicate this preventable and treatable condition by 2030.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame conducted a study that involved mathematic modeling which found that a combination of mass drug distribution and removing vegetation may be the most effective method of curbing transmission.

“Modeling is a powerful tool to synthesize myriad information about parasite transmission,” said lead author Edwin Michael, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Notre Dame. “Once we obtain a working model, we have the capability to do forecasting into the future, and we can also use the available short-term, limited data to present decision makers with new information that is not otherwise available.”

SDCB offers several vision rehabilitation services that can improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

“Study: Transmission of river blindness may be reduced when vegetation is removed”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Technology Helps People With Low Vision
low visionLow vision is defined as significant visual impairment that can't be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, medication, or eye surgery. However, technology is allowing people living with visual impairments, IrisVision utilizes a virtual reality headset and smartphone to helps users living with low vision see things better.

"This technology that now is available is so exciting, to provide to this capability of using one device for multiple distances and for patients to be independent again," said Dr. Nancy Amir, a low-vision optometrist.

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you or a loved one with low vision. Please contact us to learn more.

“IrisVision low-vision glasses help people see again”

Posted in Low Vision | View Post
Vitamin B3 and Vision Loss
vision lossOver-the-counter niacin or Vitamin B3 can cause vision loss if it is taken in high doses. Researchers at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) found that Vitamin B3 can result in a rare toxic reaction known as niacin-induced cystoid maculopathy (a type of retinal swelling). Findings published in the fall issue of the Journal of VitreoRetinal Diseases suggest that discontinuing use can reverse the effects of retinal swelling.

"People often live by the philosophy that if a little bit is good, more should be better. This study shows how dangerous large doses of a commonly used over-the-counter medication can be," said lead investigator Richard Rosen, MD, Chief of Retina Services at NYEE and the Mount Sinai Health System. "People who depend on vision for their livelihood need to realize there could be long-lasting consequences from inadvertent overdosing on this vitamin."

If vision loss is impacting your life, please contact SDCB to learn more about our services and programs.

“Severe Vision Loss From Niacin (Vitamin B3) Can Be Reversed”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Dry Eyes Can Cause Blindness
blindnessIf left untreated, dry eye symptoms can result in damage to the cornea and lead to vision loss and blindness for you or a loved one. The Mayo Clinic states that dry eyes are caused by either too little tear production or an increase in tear evaporation. A myriad of causes can lead to dry eyes: lupus, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, and prescription drugs. Fortunately, specific lifestyle changes and prescription eye drops can counter dryness and prevent permanent damage to the eyes that can cause blindness.

People who wear contact lenses and women over the age of 50 at the most considerable risk of dry eyes.

Please contact SDCB if you require assistance for vision loss or blindness. We offer several programs that can improve your life quality.

“Why you should take dry eye symptoms seriously”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Link between Eye Disease and Brain Degeneration
eye diseaseScientists from Singapore and the United States have discovered new evidence that there is a link between degeneration of the eye and brain. The researchers found that genetic variation at a beta-amyloid gene was significantly associated with increased risk of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG), a form of irreversible blindness worldwide. Moreover, the study confirmed a hypothesis that glaucoma may not just be an eye disease, but that it is linked to degeneration of the brain as well.

People living with vision loss or blindness are invited to contact San Diego Center for the Blind for assistance. We offer several programs that can help improve your quality of life.

“Researchers Find Link Between Eye Disease And Degeneration Of The Brain”

Posted in eye disease | View Post
November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month
eye diseaseDiabetes is one of the leading causes of eye disease in the United States. During Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month it is vital to inform the public about diabetes and vision loss, as well as the risk factors and treatment options. For more information on diabetic eye diseases, you can look at the “Diabetes and the Eyes” educational toolkit from Prevent Blindness. The toolkit includes fact sheets and infographics for you to share on social media.

SDCB offers many innovative visual rehabilitation programs; please contact us to learn more.

“Raising awareness for diabetic eye disease”

Posted in eye disease | View Post
Finding Permanent Therapeutics for Leading Cause of Blindness
blindnessAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) causes loss of central vision in the retina. AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Fortunately, researchers from Yale, MIT, and Harvard have discovered the cellular culprits of this incurable eye disease. The findings could lead to more permanent therapeutics for macular degeneration patients. The research was published in Nature Communications.

“It is the first time the human retinal cells have been sequenced at the single-cell level,” said Brian Hafler, assistant professor of ophthalmology and pathology at the Yale School of Medicine and co-senior author of the study. “We were able to look at each individual retinal cell’s RNA and how the expression of specific genes varies from other cells. We found which cells expressed the known genetic risk factors for macular degeneration. It’s exciting to be able to assign the AMD-associated genes with the specific cell types they act on.”

If you are struggling with vision loss, then you can benefit from the programs we offer at SDCB. Please contact us to learn more.

“Yale-MIT-Harvard collaboration maps out cellular culprits of blindness”

Posted in Researchers and Leaders in Eye Disease | View Post
Multiple Sclerosis and Vision Loss
vision lossA team of researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine combined high-resolution eye scans and genetic tests to identify three genes involved in the complement immune pathway that is linked to more rapid degeneration of nervous tissue in the eye and loss of sight. Mutations in genes are associated with a higher likelihood of more severe forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) and are linked to faster vision loss.

"We believe that our study opens up a new line of investigation targeting complement genes as a potential way to treat disease progression and nerve cell death," said Peter Calabresi, MD, the study's senior leader and a professor at Johns Hopkins University

SDCB can help you or a loved one regain some independence. Please contact us to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs.

"Mutations in 3 Genes Linked to Vision Loss and MS Severity in Hopkins Study"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
New Imaging Technique for Detecting Blindness
blindnessNew research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, conducted by researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and UT Health's McGovern Medical School, highlights the development and application of new imaging methods for viewing retinal cells. The research teams were interested in retinal cilia, hair-like fibers that work as light. Higher-resolution viewing techniques allow scientists to see the internal structure of healthy and diseased retinal cilia.

"There is a large group of diseases called ciliopathies that are caused by genetic defects in the components of the structure of cilia. One [sic] the most common symptoms of ciliopathies is retinal degeneration and blindness, such as seen in retinitis pigmentosa and Bardet-Biedl syndrome." – Dr. Theodore G. Wensel, corresponding author, professor and Robert A. Welch Chair in Chemistry in the Department of Biochemistry at Baylor

If you are struggling with vision loss or blindness, then please contact SDCB to learn more about or programs.

"New imaging methods provide unprecedented close-up view of cilia linked to blindness"

Posted in Research and Medical Advancements | View Post
Screening for Blindness in Young People
blindnessThe Plusoptix is a noninvasive vision screener that can check young people's eyes for refractive errors and eye misalignment in just under a minute. If further review is necessary, the device will instruct the subject to see an eye doctor. Last year, the tool helped detect blindness in the left eye of a first-grader named Elliott Wasem. An eye doctor discovered that Elliot has optic nerve edema: a leaky blood vessel causing swelling and blindness.

"I was thinking glasses might be the worst case scenario," said Christy Wasem, Elliott's mother and a kindergarten teacher at Hellgate Elementary. "We had no idea."

Please contact SDCB if you would like assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer several innovative programs that can help.

"Vision screenings helped spot blindness in Missoula kindergartner"   

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Learning About Diseases that can Cause Blindness
blindnessVision is a precious gift that too many of us take for granted. There are several things we can do differently to protect against blindness, including prioritizing a healthy diet, exercise, and avoiding alcohol and smoking. The five most common causes of blindness are diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and eye injury or trauma.

"The leading causes of blindness and low vision in the United States are primarily age-related eye diseases, says Barbara Horn, a Doctor of Optometry and president of the American Optometric Association. "The potential to rehabilitate vision will depend on the diagnosis, degree of diagnosis and length of diagnosis," she adds. Horn also notes that "early intervention via regular visits with a doctor of optometry is key to prevent visual impairment and optimize early treatment, if needed."

If you require assistance for vision loss or blindness, then we invite you to reach out to SDCB to learn more about our programs.

“5 Diseases That Can Lead to Blindness”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Blindness Tied to Common Sleep Disorder
blindnessIn the United States, the lives of more than 18 million adults are impacted by sleep apnea. Scientists had already linked the sleep condition to several health problems, but researchers now associate the disorder with blindness. Severe sleep apnea could heighten people's risk of diabetic macular edema: a disease that causes vision loss or blindness.

"Based on these results, we hope that more medical professionals will approach sleep apnea as a risk factor for diabetic macular edema," lead researcher Juifan Chiang said in a press release. "This could allow for earlier medical intervention so patients can keep more of their vision and preserve their overall health as much as possible."

San Diego Center for the Blind specializes in helping people living with vision loss. Please reach out to us to learn more.

"Sleep Apnea Effects Linked To Blindness"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Preventable Vision Loss Around the Globe
vision lossSome 2.2 billion people are living with eye conditions and visual impairment today, according to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) World Report On Vision. The UN health agency warns that the need for eye care is increasing as exponentially more people are expected to suffer from vision loss in the coming years. WHO suggests that lifestyle choices are a driving force behind staggering visual impairment rates.

"Eye conditions and vision impairment are widespread, and far too often they still go untreated," said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. "It is unacceptable that 65 million people are blind or have impaired sight when their vision could have been corrected overnight with a cataract operation, or that over 800 million struggle in everyday activities because they lack access to a pair of glasses."

If you are struggling with low vision or blindness, then SDCB can help in several ways. Please contact us to learn more.

"One billion people have preventable or unaddressed vision loss"

Posted in Blindness and Society | View Post
Author Explains that Blindness Makes You Vulnerable
blindnessNew York City is a well-planned city, but it can still prove challenging to navigate, especially if you are living with blindness. Author Elizabeth Savage says that you are vulnerable when you can’t see. However, she shares with readers that memory and mental tricks helped her manage with poor vision. Then, vision loss progressed to blindness; she had multiple surgeries to treat her uveitis, an inflammatory disease of the eye.

The uveitis cleared up, but later she developed cataracts. At the time of her last cataract surgery, she had 20/200 vision. Fortunately, the operation was a success, and her vision was restored.

Please reach out to San Diego Center for the blind to learn more about our services.

“I Went Blind. I Still Owned Manhattan”

Posted in Living Independently Skills and Attitude | View Post
Eating Healthy to Prevent Vision Loss
vision lossWhat we eat can have a significant impact on our health. Those who eat more nutrient-rich foods benefit in several ways. While genetics play a role in causing vision loss, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that what we eat can wreak havoc on our vision. Leafy greens, carrots, bell peppers, pumpkin, butternut squash, and turkey can help you with long-term eye health. Foods containing vitamins A, C, E, and zinc are beneficial to our eyes.

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one with vision loss and blindness. Please contact us to learn more.

“6 Foods to Eat for Healthier Eyes and Better Vision”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Eye Drops May Reverse Vision Loss
vision lossAn Israeli company is working on eye drops that could reverse a common type of vision loss: farsightedness or the inability to see or read nearby objects. Research on the Israel-based Orasis, Pharmaceuticals, eye drops indicates that the eye drops improve farsightedness and are tolerable.

“We are very encouraged by the results,” said Elad Kedar, CEO of Orasis, “The results were great not only on the efficacy endpoints, but also on the safety and tolerability, so we are moving as quickly as possible into Phase 3.”

Please contact SDCB if you would like to learn more about our vision rehabilitation services. We have many programs that can improve your life quality.

“Eye Drops To Reverse Vision Loss One Step Closer To Market”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Preventing Blindness on Halloween
blindnessEye injuries are leading causes of blindness and vision loss. With Halloween around the corner, it's vital that people of all ages protect their eyes from costume-related injuries. Cosmetic contact lenses and specific masks can hurt your eyes. Prevent Blindness offers several tips to safeguard your vision over the holiday, such as:

“Improper use of cosmetic lenses can lead to serious eye complications. These problems include bacterial infections, swelling, eye pain, sensitivity to light, conjunctivitis (pink eye), corneal scratches, corneal ulceration and even permanent loss of sight.”

San Diego Center for the Blind can significantly help people living with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

“Tips for Making Halloween Safe”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Cooking Podcast for the Visually Impaired
visually impairedPerhaps you have heard of a PBS television program called “Cooking Without Looking.” The show features people who are visually impaired cooking their favorite recipes. Now the program is available via podcast. The “Cooking Without Looking TV Show Podcast” will allow more people to enjoy the series. The show’s creator, Renee Rentmeester, says:

“I wanted to create something that could help anyone no matter their race, gender, religion or economic status. I came up with blindness because it crosses all of those lines,’’ she said. “But, I didn’t know anyone who was blind. No one in my family is blind/visually impaired. That’s also part of the reason I started it. Most people don’t know people who are blind, and we could bring understanding to a whole group of people that many didn’t know, or understand.”

SDCB can help you or a loved one with vision loss; we offer several programs that help people regain their independence. Please contact us to learn more.

“Cooking show for visually impaired is now producing a podcast”

Posted in Visually Impaired | View Post
Preparing for Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationAge-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a chronic disease that affects millions of people in the United States. In fact, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 or older. By 2020, an estimated 196 million people will be living with AMD, according to the BrightFocus Foundation. Cases vary in severity, and some men and women will require surgery.

Older adults must familiarize themselves with the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for age-related macular degeneration.

If you would like assistance with vision loss, then please contact SDCB. We offer many programs that can improve your life quality.

“A Patient's Guide to Macular Degeneration”

Posted in Eye Disease - Macular Degeneration | View Post
Braille UNO Cards
BrailleIn previous posts we wrote about Braille Bricks: Legos that have Braille on them. The company went a step further last month when it began offering building instructions for the visually impaired via Braille readers.

Now, the toy company Mattel is working on inclusivity. The company now offers a Braille deck of UNO cards. Developed in partnership with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), UNO Braille makes the game accessible to blind and low-vision players.

"It's a sighted world, so it's important to have accessibility for the blind," said Raveena Alli. "But also to be able to pull out a deck of cards and say, 'Hey, there's Braille and print on this, do you wanna play?' And it will just be really fun."

At SDCB, we offer several vision rehabilitation programs that can improve quality of life for men and women living with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

“Mattel debuts first official Braille deck of UNO cards”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Spotting the Signs of Blindness
blindnessThe University of Wisconsin has a health program that aims to spot the signs of diabetes-related blindness early. The project, which involves the use of telemedicine, is headed by Dr. Yao Liu. Dr. Liu is a glaucoma specialist, eye surgeon and assistant professor at UW-Madison.

Early detection and treatment can decrease the risk of severe vision loss from diabetic eye disease by 90 percent, says Professor Liu. Diabetic eye disease is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults in America.

“I think there is so much new technology today. Telemedicine allows us to provide eye care using cameras, smart phones, all kinds of new technologies,” Liu said.

Please contact SDCB if you are experiencing vision loss. We offer many programs that can help improve life quality.

“Growing telehealth program is working to catch blindness early”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
This is Us Casts Blind Actor
blindThe hit NBC show “This Is Us” season 4 premiered on Tuesday, September 24. One of the new primary characters featured this season is a blind musician played by actor Blake Stadnik. Blind characters in television shows is not unheard of; however, it is rare that the actor cast to play this type of role is in fact blind in real life.

“It was an interesting casting process because we wanted to cast a blind actor," said showrunner Dan Fogelman. "We had started our casting process very early, even in our off-season. I was looking for a leading man who was without sight and who could be funny, charming, accessible, and sweet. One of the wonderful things about our casting department was it wasn't like they only found Blake. There were a bunch of really viable, wonderful casting choices that came through our casting department. Blake, when he came to us, was clearly the guy."

“This is Us” is not Stadnik’s first role as an actor on stage. He graduated from Penn State’s musical theater program. Since then, the young man has performed in several theater productions: Newsies, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street and Guys and Dolls.

SDCB invites you to reach out if you would like assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer several vision rehabilitation programs.

“Who Plays Jack Damon on This Is Us? All About Blake Stadnik, the Blind Actor in Season 4”

Posted in Blind | View Post
Lack of education around what impacts eye health
A recent poll in the UK found that nearly 50% of people had little to no understanding of what nutrients and vitamins can impact eye health. Only 45% of those polled knew that diet can impact your vision. They also found that although the eye is the fastest moving muscle in the body with two million moving parts, most people take no preventative measures to protect their eyes. 

SDCB vision rehabilitation programs can help improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

Half of UK Adults Have No Idea Diet Can Affect Eyesight
Posted in Eye Health | View Post
Glaucoma risks and symptoms
Your risk of developing Glaucoma increases after the age of 40. But do you know the early signs and symptoms of the disease? 

Including loss of vision in one or both eyes, cloudy vision, and pain or pressure, this list goes over six of the earliest signs of Glaucoma. It also talks about the types of Glaucoma and the risk factors associated with diabetes, being nearsighted, and having a family history of the disease. 

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness. Please reach out to us to learn more.

6 Early Signs of Glaucoma: What You Need to Know
Posted in Eye Health, Glaucoma, Vision Loss | View Post
Changes to make around the home for people with low vision
Anyone living with low vision knows that small changes around your home and living space can make bit improvements in your quality of life. Although, ideally, you will be able to work with an occupational therapist to help you figure out what changes to make, if you are trying to figure it out on your own for the time being, these 13 suggestions might help. 

Advice ranges from changing your light bulbs (the type and intensity may be different for different people with differing low vision), securing your throw rugs or getting rid of them completely, and organize your space by task to reduce complications. 

If your quality of life is affected by vision loss, then please reach out to SDCB. Our programs and services can help you in several ways.

13 Little Updates to Make Your Home Low-Vision Friendly
Posted in Accessibility, Living Independently, Low Vision | View Post
Home Eye Safety Month and Preventing Vision Loss
vision lossOctober is Eye Injury Prevention Month. Did you know that half of all eye injuries happen at home? Take precautions to prevent eye injuries, don't risk a lifetime of vision loss—protect your eyes. Wearing eye protection when working outside and inside can help prevent eye injuries. Read and follow the directions when working with chemicals like bleach. Adequately lighted stairways prevent falls. Safely store chemicals away from children.

Please reach out to SDCB if your quality of life is affected by vision loss. We offer several services that can help.


Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Regular Eye Exams Help Prevent Vision Loss
vision lossSeptember is Healthy Aging Month! The American Academy of Ophthalmology emphasizes the importance of eye exams for maintaining healthy eyes and preventing vision loss. Regular eye exams result in early detection of common age-related eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Early detection leads to treatment, and treatment can prevent vision loss.

If your quality of life is affected by vision loss, then please reach out to SDCB. Our programs and services can help you in several ways.

"Ophthalmologists encourage making eyes part of a healthy aging strategy"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Stem Cells for Treating Vision Loss
vision lossThe cornea is the transparent front section of the eye covering the iris and pupil. Scientists in Japan are treating damaged corneas using stem cells. The surgeon reports that the procedure has led to improved vision. Stem cells in the cornea may be the future with regard to refreshing and repairing corneas and vision loss.

There is only one cornea available for transplant per 70 needed. Stem cells may be the answer to closing the gap.

SDCB vision rehabilitation programs can help improve your quality of life. Please contact us to learn more.

"World first: Doctors use 'reprogrammed' stem cells to repair cornea"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Hazard Maps for Color Blindness
blindnessJapan is a country located in the "ring of fire." Which means it is highly susceptible to tectonic activity like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A government task force is planning to redesign its hazard maps to better assist people living with color blindness.

Current earthquake hazard maps utilize colors to indicate the extent to which areas across the nation are susceptible to earthquakes. The new maps would discontinue the use of green; people living with color blindness have difficulty distinguishing between red and green.

"The biggest purpose of using different colors to indicate disaster-related risks, I think, is to allow for the public's fastest, easiest grasp of danger on the way. But if shown in problematic colors, such a method of communication could backfire," said Masahiro Nakade of the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion.

San Diego Center for the Blind can help you or a loved one with vision loss or blindness. Please reach out to us to learn more.

"Hazard maps to get redesign for color blind"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Timing Matters for Treating Blindness
blindnessA gene therapy approved by the FDA for treating Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare, inherited form of blindness, has given many people hope. However, new research from the University of Pennsylvania has found that it may only be effective when used at the proper time. The research team worked with canine models of advanced stage LCA; their findings appear in the journal Molecular Therapy.

"Earlier work by our group and others had suggested that if you treated the disease at a time when the retina was degenerating, that degeneration continued, in people and in dogs," explained Gustavo D. Aguirre of Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine. "This was in spite of short-term gains in vision. We wanted to follow up to get details about the extent of retinal degeneration that would still be compatible with a lasting effect."

SDCB offers several programs that can assist people living with vision loss or blindness. Please contact us today to learn more.

"Effectiveness of Gene Therapy for Blindness Depends On Timing"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Measles Can Cause Blindness
blindnessVaccinating children is a topic of serious discussion of late. Many parents are choosing not to have their children vaccinated. Vaccine rates are plummeting! This trend is putting many children at risk of death and disability from measles. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there were 110,000 measles deaths globally, mostly among children under age 5, in 2017. Measles can also cause blindness and encephalitis.

"It certainly is incredibly frustrating and upsetting to the public health community that we may lose measles elimination status, because we do have a safe and effective vaccine," said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Please contact SDCB if you are struggling with vision loss or blindness. We offer many programs that can help improve life quality.

"The US eliminated measles in 2000. The current outbreak could change that"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Wearing Sunglasses Can Help Prevent Blindness
blindnessThe sun emits powerful ultraviolet rays that can damage your skin; it's the cause of sunburns and skin cancer. However, the planet's source of light can also do irreparable harm to one's eyes. UV rays can damage eye proteins increasing the risk for cataracts, according to a 2014 study funded by the U.S. National Eye Institute.

Studies show that UV damage can enhance one's risk for macular degeneration— a leading cause of age-related blindness. UV exposure can also cause photokeratitis which may lead to temporary blindness. Wearing sunglasses can reduce your risk of experiencing eye disease.

We invite you to contact the San Diego Center for the Blind if you are struggling with vision loss. We offer many programs that can help.

"How Wearing Sunglasses Actually Impacts Your Eyes, According to Science"

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Vision Loss Discussed in New Book for Children
vision lossSupreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new children's book that discusses diabetes and other conditions that kids face, such as blindness and Down syndrome. Justice Sotomayor was diagnosed with diabetes at age 7. She says the impetus for the book came when she was accused of being a drug addict after someone witnessed her take an insulin shot in a bathroom.

"Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You," is intended for kids age 4 to 8. The book encourages young people to ask questions, rather than judge.

"Differences provide not just beauty in life, but they're important to the quality of the world we live in. It's richer because of our differences. We're not lesser because of it. We're stronger because of it. My book celebrates the many ways in which kids and adults are different and do things differently," said Sotomayor. She adds, "I truly believe that if I can inspire the younger generation to see themselves as positive agents for change...that I will leave a more lasting legacy than what I can do as a judge."

If you require help for vision loss, then please contact SDCB to learn more about our programs and services.

"Justice Sotomayor encourages kids to 'Just Ask' in new book"

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
The Gift of Glasses for Color Blindness
blindnessA student-produced video showing a young man receiving EnChroma Color Blind glasses, has been nominated for a national award. “Jake Loburak: The Colorblind Videographer," is produced by communications and digital media (CDM) majors Sean Spence and Jake Loburak. Jake has Strong Deutan Color Blindness, a type of color blindness which makes red, yellow, green and brown appear similar. The movie is one of four finalists for a College Broadcasters Best Feature News Reporting Award.

"I went up to the set and put them on. It was pretty cool," said Jake Loburak.

Please contact SDCB to learn more about our vision rehabilitation programs and services.

"Color Blind: Neumann student's video captures a life-changing moment for colorblind pal"
Posted in Blindness | View Post
Macular Degeneration and Smog
macular degenerationA new study out of Taiwan shows that smog from automobile tailpipes could be contributing to macular degeneration. The researchers found that people who are exposed to high levels of two car exhaust pollutants are at greater risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

"With the ever-increasing industrialization of cities around the world, and increasing levels of pollution, a close watch on the effects this will have on eye health will be critical in our aging population," said Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

If you or someone you love requires vision rehabilitation services, then please contact SDCB.

“Smoggy Air Might Contribute to Macular Degeneration”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
Braille Instructions for Legos
BrailleWe recently wrote about Braille Bricks that help kids living with vision loss. Now, the company is taking its efforts one step further by offering building instructions in braille and audio for the visually impaired. Using AI, blind entrepreneur Matthew Shifrin is uploading building steps into a braille reader.

"For blind people Lego sets act as miniature 3D substitutes for real-life buildings in lieu of two-dimensional photographs," said Shifrin. "Lego bricks allow me to see things that are impossible to explore by touch."

SDCB offers programs that help people living with blindness to lead more independent lives. Please contact us to learn more.


Posted in Braille | View Post
Police Officer Living With Blindness
blindnessBeing born with blindness is sure to present several challenges. However, vision loss is merely an obstacle, not a dead end. Doug Perez was born premature and without vision. Still, he was able to become an honorary police officer despite blindness. Perez has always been interested in law enforcement, and now he has an opportunity to help.

"It's something that I've always wanted to do and I wouldn't imagine doing anything else," Perez said.

Please contact SDCB if you could use some assistance with vision loss or blindness. We offer several innovative programs.

“Local man defies odds, becomes honorary police officer despite blindness”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Audio Comic Book On Blindness
blindnessChad Allen created an audio-comic titled “Unseen” featuring a blind protagonist. “Unseen” may be the first audio comic book written by a person living with blindness, that is intended for a blind audience. Even still, anyone can enjoy the story. “Unseen” was chosen for the "Self, Made" exhibition at the Exploratorium museum of science, art and human perception in San Francisco.

"Chad's character is written for a blind audience, but all of us can identify with her because we can identify with the experience of being underestimated," says Melissa Alexander, the director of public programs at the Exploratorium. "His specific experience becomes more broadly applicable."

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you in leading a more independent life. Please reach out to us to learn more about our programs.

"A blind heroine rules this audio comic book written for a blind audience"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Braille Messages On Scooters
BraillePeople living in major cities across the country are acutely familiar with e-scooters. They are an inexpensive means of transportation, allowing people to move quickly from point A to B. However, municipal infrastructure has proven ill-equipped to deal with the thousands of scooters littered around the city. When a person is done riding, they need only drop the transport on the sidewalk. As you can imagine, scooter jetsam is hazardous for people living with vision loss. Lyft scooters have Braille stickers with instructions on how to get them off the sidewalk.

"We may not ride it, but if we trip over it, we can read the Braille on it and find out who to report it to," said Shawn Callaway, president of the District of Columbia chapter of the National Federation of the Blind. "We want the Braille on them to identify the company and their contact information."

SDCB can assist you or a loved one with vision impairment. Please contact us to learn more about our programs.

"Why is there a Braille message on my e-scooter?"

Posted in Braille | View Post
Augmented Reality for Low Vision
low visionTechnology is quickly becoming the answer to vision loss. Smart glasses are giving the gift of sight to countless people around the globe, living with varying degrees of visual impairment. Augmented reality (AR) glasses could prove beneficial for those living with low vision – that is vision loss that cannot be corrected by medical or surgical treatments or conventional eyeglasses.

In the U.S., one in 30 adults over the age of 40 are living with low vision. A new study shows that augmented reality (AR) glasses can improve mobility by 50% and grasp performance by 70% in patients living with retinitis pigmentosa.

"Through the use of AR, we aim to improve the quality of life for low vision patients by increasing their confidence in performing basic tasks, ultimately allowing them to live more independent lives," says Anastasios N. Angelopoulos, study project lead.

If you would like to regain some of your independence, please contact SDCB. We offer several services for adult men and women living with vision loss.

"Augmented reality glasses may help people with low vision better navigate their environment"

Posted in Assistive Technology | View Post
Vision Loss and Deafness Would Not Stop Her
vision lossIn 2013, Haben Girma became the first deafblind woman to graduate from Harvard Law School. She has made it her mission to fight for the rights of people living with disabilities, including vision loss and hearing loss. The White House Champion of Change honoree has a new book, “Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.” She recounts what life is like growing up with a disability, and the obstacles that people with vision and hearing loss face.

"Stop assuming we're incompetent," said Helen Keller achievement award-winner, Haben Girma. "We are talented; we work hard. It's just ableism, the assumption that people with disabilities are inferior, that gets in our way."

SDCB specializes in helping adults who are living with vision loss. Please contact us for more information about our programs.

“Meet Haben Girma, the deafblind woman who conquered Harvard”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Learning Braille in the Wake of Tragedy
BrailleMarissa Gold lost her vision six years ago because of Type 1 diabetes and a virus she contracted. Living without vision meant that Marissa would have to learn new skills to function in the world, such as learning Braille. To support his adult daughter, Gold's father Michael decided that he would learn how to read Braille too.

"My admiration goes out to people who have visual disabilities and who are blind because what they've had to learn in terms of technology is absolutely amazing," said Michael Gold. "They have to memorize so much."

San Diego Center for the Blind is committed to helping adults who are living with varying degrees of vision loss. Please contact us to learn more.

"Father learns braille with daughter after tragedy strikes"

Posted in Braille | View Post
Intraneural Stimulation for Blindness
blindnessAn estimated 39 million people in the world are affected by blindness. Advancements in technology are helping scientists discover novel methods for combating vision loss. Researchers from EPFL in Switzerland and Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna in Italy are working on developing techniques for treating blindness that transmit visual signals to the brain that bypass the eyeball altogether.

"We believe that intraneural stimulation can be a valuable solution for several neuroprosthetic devices for sensory and motor function restoration. The translational potentials of this approach are indeed extremely promising," says Silvestro Micera, EPFL's Bertarelli Foundation Chair in Translational Neuroengineering, and Professor of Bioelectronics at Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna.

We invite you to reach out to SDCB if you require assistance for vision impairment or blindness. We offer several innovative vision rehabilitation programs.

"Optic nerve stimulation to aid the blind"

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Braille Behind Bars
BrailleHope Zentz, 43, has been an inmate in the Michigan state prison system for 11 years and has another seven to go before she is eligible for parole. However, Zentz has decided to use her time behind bars productively. This month she earned her literary braille certification from the Library of Congress. When she gets out of prison, Zentz hopes to have a career transcribing braille.

“My focus, since 2009 when I got sober in prison, was to try to pay it forward and make up for some of the wrongs that I’ve done,” Zentz said.

We encourage you to reach out to SDCB if you require assistance with vision impairment. Our programs can help you reclaim some of your independence.

“Women prisoners earn braille certifications, look to future”

Posted in Braille | View Post
Powerlifter Living With Blindness
blindnessCharles King went blind at 39; his blindness stole his will to live. His disability brought him to dark places literally and figuratively. After struggling for years, King managed to rediscover a new sense of purpose through weightlifting. The 69-year-old Philadelphian is a blind powerlifter; he finished first in his weight and age class last month at the United States Association of Blind Athletes National Powerlifting Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Mentally and physically, he had to put himself together,” said Joe Braca, owner of Underground Gym in Flourtown, who agreed to help train King.

“I said ‘OK God, that’s it. I quit.’ I literally quit and just went out on the streets and joined the homeless,” he said. “I hoped that because I was blind, someone on the streets would kill me.”

SDCB assists men and women who are living with blindness and vision impairment. Please contact us to learn more.

“Philly powerlifter, 69, overcame blindness, homelessness, addiction, cancer, and the death of his daughter to become a champion”

Posted in Blindness | View Post
Artists With Vision Loss
vision loss“Vision Portraits” is an essay documentary from filmmaker Rodney Evans. The director believes that losing one’s vision can result in people seeing the world in novel ways. The film showcases artists who have different degrees of vision loss. Hopefully, you will have an opportunity to view the movie; it just may change your perspective

“Vision Portraits” addresses blindness in concrete, comprehensible terms,” writes Ben Kenigsberg.

If you are living with vision loss, then please contact San Diego Center for the Blind. We offer many programs that can help you regain your independence.

“‘Vision Portraits’ Review: Blindness as a Way of Seeing”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Technology Combats Vision Loss
vision lossMary Sedgwick was diagnosed with optic neuritis in 1997. The disease causes inflammation of the optic nerve, which leads to vision loss. She always held onto the hope that one day, something would come along that restored her vision. Now, thanks to E-Sight, glasses that magnify and brighten the world, she has a new perspective.

Mary Sedgwick’s vision loss made it so she could not work, but she can now see with 20/10 vision. She recently checked a lifelong dream off her bucket list when she skydived with the Army Golden Knights.

San Diego Center for the Blind can assist you or a loved one with vision loss. Please contact us to learn more about our services.

“Legally blind woman gets vision back, jumps with Golden Knights”

Posted in Vision Loss | View Post
Our Diets Role in Macular Degeneration
macular degenerationThe food we eat changes how we feel. Those who eat healthily tend to feel better and are better able to function in life. An unhealthy diet, on the other hand, can severely impact one’s well-being, and it is associated with myriad health problems. A new book delves into the role that diet plays on our vision.

In his book “Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration,” Dr. Chris Knobbe claims doctors have been taught that macular degeneration “MD” is the result of aging and genetics. He offers up a different explanation. Dr. Knobbe claims that an unhealthy diet is the leading cause of macular degeneration.

SDCB offers several programs and services to assist people living with vision loss; please contact us to learn more.

“North American diet a recipe for blindness”

Posted in Eye Health and Preventing Disease | View Post
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